3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Do essay prompts change every year?

I'm currently in 12th grade and will be joining college from fall 2022. I wanted to start drafting my essays. Do essay prompts of colleges and the common app change every year? (In that case, I'll wait till new prompts are uploaded).


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

The common app essay prompts mostly stay the same year-to-year, with one or two new options every couple of years. However, these prompts have already been released for the 21-22 admissions cycle ( https://www.commonapp.org/blog/2021-2022-common-app-essay-prompts ), so you can go ahead and start drafting that essay!

College-specific prompts tend to change year-to-year, so I'd hold off on writing those--check back around July or August. If you want to get a head start on supplementals, I would suggest starting to brainstorm possible essay topics--your values, experiences, memories, aspects of your identity, life lessons you've learned, formative moments, groups you're a part of, important people/places in your life, etc. Anything meaningful to you. While the essay prompts may be somewhat specific, there will be ways to work in these brainstormed stories and tell them in a way that answers the prompt.

Best of luck, and have a great day!

3 years ago

Hi, thank you for asking your question! I totally agree with @jw26 here. They point out that the Common App essay prompts tend to recycle year to year in a predictable manner. So it probably does not hurt to start writing a response to one of the prompts.

Additionally, supplemental essays (which are specific to each school) tend to have thematic ideas that parallel the previous years. However, the exact wording of the prompts and targeted questioning can be different so I would recommend holding off till about August 1st. This is when the CommonApp and similar application platforms officially open and you will be able to see all the prompts for schools on those platforms.

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